Home India Chidambaram: ‘Interesting to know why FinMin chose to embarrass PM on a day…’

Chidambaram: ‘Interesting to know why FinMin chose to embarrass PM on a day…’

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P Chidambaram, Congress leader and former Union minister, on Thursday said it would be interesting to know why the finance ministry “embarrassed” Prime Minister Narendra Modi by putting out information on GST compensation to states on a day when the latter chose to “admonish” the states.

The finance ministry on Wednesday said the Centre had already released eight months of GST compensation dues to the states for the fiscal ending March 2022 and 78,704 crore was pending due to inadequate balance in the cess fund.

Taking to Twitter, Chidambaram said on a day the PM exhorted states to cut the VAT rate on petrol and diesel, the finance ministry announced that the Centre owed 78,704 crore to the states.

“The amount owed is actually more. If you add the amounts that the states claim are owed to them, the total amount may be bigger. Only the Controller of Government Accounts (CGA) can certify the correct amount,” the Congress leader wrote.

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“It will be interesting to know why the MoF embarrassed the PM on the day he chose to admonish the States!” the former finance minister added.

A day ago, Modi held a Covid review meeting with chief ministers and senior officials wherein he also spoke about higher fuel prices in many opposition-ruled states and blamed the governments there for the “injustice” being meted out to citizens. He urged the governments there to reduce VAT in “national interest” to benefit the common man.

Also read | Coercive, not co-operative: Rahul Gandhi on PM Modi’s fuel tax appeal to states

Modi said many states like Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu were not adhering to the Centre’s call for reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel after his government slashed excise duties on them in November last, and asked them to work in the spirit of cooperative federalism in this time of global crisis.

(With inputs from agencies)

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